Thursday, April 8, 2021

Top 10 homecomings in fiction

Catherine Menon is Australian-British, has Malaysian heritage and lives in London. She is a University lecturer in robotics and has both a PhD in pure mathematics and an MA in Creative Writing.

Her short story collection, Subjunctive Moods, was published in 2018. Her short stories have won or been placed in a number of competitions. Her work has been broadcast on radio, and she’s been a judge for several international short fiction competitions.

Fragile Monsters is Menon's debut novel.

At the Guardian she tagged ten "books [that] offer intimate, startling perspectives on homecomings: some that celebrate it, some that examine the challenges and others that question the nature of what it means to return." One title on the list:
Friend of My Youth by Amit Chaudhuri

This novel is a love letter to Bombay (now Mumbai), but a specific, very personal Bombay constructed from the narrator’s memories. Amit, a character created simultaneously from the writing and the life of Amit Chaudhuri, makes several returns to Bombay. The city changes each time and Chaudhuri gives us the sense that Bombay itself is constantly experiencing a homecoming of its own. The protagonist’s one constant, Ramu – the titular friend – is absent for the first half of the book and this absence lends a depth and poignancy to this elegiac novel.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue